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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

You might have heard the familiar lecture from a parent or grandparent; the one where your elderly relative talks about how they worked a consistent nine-to-five for forty years and retired with full benefits, fueled only by their determination and solid work ethic. To them, it can seem baffling why someone could be unemployed unless due to some fault of their own.

But it can be difficult to find a consistent means of income in today’s job market. And unfortunately, many markets provide few opportunities for entry as professions become more specialized and exclusive. Whether it’s a competitive market or the seasonal nature of your profession, keeping a steady flow of income when you lose employment may call for more drastic measures than a mere rainy day fund – especially if you’re the main breadwinner in your household.

For today’s unconventional job market, here are some more uncommon safety net strategies to take advantage of when you suspect that your job isn’t as stable as your family needs.

Reverse Mortgage

By no means a one-size-fits-all financial solution, a reverse mortgage can nonetheless provide a substantial income when more conventional options aren’t available. In the United States, individuals below the age of 62 who is the principle resident of their owned property can take advantage of this home loan. While a lump sum loan can be tantalizing, be wary of the higher interest rates that come with this option. Rather, a monthly cash payment or credit-line options are preferable.

Many individuals without plans for their estate take this option to bolster their pre-retirement funds, though it can be equally viable as a substantial short-term source of income for any family. As long as you’re able to repay the loan plus any accrued interest in a timely manner, there is little risk associated with the practice; however, always seek quality financial counseling and verify that anyone providing these loans has a positive reputation, as this loan is popular among opportunistic lenders (or even scam artists!)

Supplemental Unemployment Insurance

For many individuals, unemployment benefits can be enough to tide over oneself until they’re able to find a new job. However, the fact that state benefits are capped off at a relatively low number can spell trouble for larger families. In fact, maximum benefits can be as little as around $230 a week – which is hardly enough to pay for a week’s trip to the grocery store for some households. For this reason, supplemental unemployment insurance is an increasingly popular option for those who need more than what the state can provide their families.

Careerists also enjoy this form of insurance because it allows job seekers to make more deliberate decisions in their search. According to a study by the Pew Research Center in May of 2010, around three out of five workers who were laid off during the recession took work that they were overqualified for merely because they needed the income, which can be damaging to those with developing professional careers. This sort of urgency can be staved off with a solid supplemental unemployment insurance policy without sacrificing the well-being of your family.

Growth-Income Investment Funds

For those uninitiated with investments, the mere sight of the word can summon images of frazzled businessmen and financial ruin. Fortunately, investment funds are a type of investment that people can use to take advantage of the financial savvy of other investors. And as opposed to some other types of investment funds, growth-income varieties seek to minimize risk while focusing on non-volatile stocks.

While not a short-term option for those in need of a quick solution, this is a great strategic move for those thinking ahead. While no significant form of investment comes risk-free, growth-income investment funds can bolster your savings at a steady pace while minimizing the odds of experiencing loss. While it can take years to learn the ropes of stock trading, picking the right team with an investment funds can keep you reliably in the green without needing to know an extensive amount about the stock market.

Frank McCourt is a professional writer, a financial student, and an amateur outdoorsman. When he isn’t confined to a cubicle, you can find him enjoying nature in the great wilderness of Idaho Falls.